SOURCE: Canine Companions for Independence

Canine Companions for Independence

December 04, 2014 11:59 ET

Canine Companions for Independence Announces New Board Leadership

Philanthropist and Entrepreneur John Miller Named Chair

SANTA ROSA, CA--(Marketwired - December 04, 2014) - Canine Companions for Independence, the oldest and largest assistance dog organization in the country helping people with physical disabilities, is pleased to announce John D. Miller as the nonprofit's chair of the board of directors.

"It's amazing to see how the miracle of a Canine Companions assistance dog improves the lives of so many people," said Miller.

Miller was a founder of Arterial Vascular Engineering, Inc. (AVE) and served as Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and a Director. AVE began as a start-up medical device company in 1991 in Santa Rosa, CA, and went on to become a leading cardiology company that was acquired by Medtronic Corporation in 1999.

While living in Santa Rosa, John was introduced to Canine Companions by Jean Schulz and her late husband Peanuts creator Charles Schulz.

"Jean brought me to a training class for hearing dogs and you can't help but be affected by the bond created between the individual and their new assistance dog," states Miller.

After moving back to New York, Jean encouraged John to become more deeply involved with Canine Companions in the Northeast. "It's hard to say no to Jean Schulz," shares Miller.

Miller went on to serve as the Northeast region board president, national board vice chair, and has been on numerous committees. He took a lead role in securing a new location for the Medford, NY training center and helped make the dream a reality through rigorous fundraising as a lead donor. The training center is called the Miller Family Campus in honor of John, wife Kristin and their children.

In 2007, Miller provided a lead donation to help kickoff Canine Companions Wounded Veteran's Initiative, providing assistance dogs to injured military. The nonprofit has placed 118 assistance dogs with wounded veterans and was recently chosen to furnish dogs for a study to be performed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to determine the potential benefits of canine support for Veterans with PTSD.

John and his wife Kristin are actively involved in numerous non-profits. John has served on many boards and is currently on the boards of Winthrop University Hospital and Hofstra University where he is the former board of trustees chair.

"This is an exciting time at Canine Companions with the recently announced leadership change of longtime CEO Corey Hudson who will retire after 24 years," said Miller. New CEO Paul Mundell steps into the role with 25 years of assistance dog experience at the organization.

"We're confident that Paul will continue to position Canine Companions as a leader in the assistance dog world and successfully grow the organization as we enter our 40th year," states Miller.

John and Kristin continue their efforts on behalf of Canine Companions with the hope that "we can grow to be financially secure enough to continue to provide quality service dogs free of charge to all who need them." The Millers have homes in New York and Florida.

Additional recently appointed board officers include Vice Chair John McKinney of Healdsburg, CA, Bob Street of Colorado Springs, CO, and Dr. Pauline Parry of San Mateo, CA.

About Canine Companions for Independence

Canine Companions for Independence provides highly trained assistance dogs to children and adults with disabilities. Established in 1975, Canine Companions has six training centers across the country, including California, Florida, Ohio, New York and Texas. Canine Companions is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. There is no charge for the dog, its training and ongoing follow-up services. For more information, call 1-800-572-BARK or visit

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